An Icy Lull
IC date: Autumn 15, 1007
OOC date: October 6, 2012
PCs: Blackbird, Sadaka
GM: Fluttershy

Ice cream was not meant to be this /cold/.

Not like anything was supposed to happen. Not like a trip to the shop was supposed to end like this. But the moment he opened the door for her, Blackbird and Sadaka were suddenly whisked away into…well, into the Wintersong, it seems. And deep in, for all the snow.

It's absolutely frigid here, and Blackbird is sprawled out in a pile of snow at the base of a tree. Icicles dangle from every branch, like Hearth's Warming decorations out early. Sadaka has never been so cold, never in her life.

Sadaka groans faintly, rubbing her head to try and clear it. What the hay just happened? …Wow, it's /cold/. The little zebra curls up a bit, wrapping her front legs around herself as she looks around blearily. This… this was not the ice cream shop. This was… the forest? "What… wh-where… Papa?" She picks herself up slowly, already feeling a bit stiff just from the chill. "Papa Blackbird? Are you okay?"

Blackbird appears to be out cold. (Badum tish!) At least for the moment. Or at least he's not moving. Hopefully Sadaka did not just lose another parent!

Sadaka squeaks and scrambles over to him, bounding awkwardly through the deeper patches of snow. "Papa!" She shakes him as best she could, ears back. "Papa, you gotta wake up! S-something happened and… and we're not where we're s-supposed to be, and… and… and you gotta wake up!"

He's not moving! He's not—

"Mnph." Oh good. Blackbird opens one eye and squints, muscles tensing against the cold. "Guh. What… Sadaka, what…?" He sits up, knitting his brow at the dark and snowy shapes around him. "We must be in the middle of Wintersong. How'd we get here?" He wraps Sadaka up in his arms, partly to share warmth.

Sadaka shakes her head, nuzzling up against him. Whew! She's silent for a moment, mostly out of relief. Then out of confusion! "I… I don't know. We were walking through the door, then… then we were here. …D-did we fall asleep or something?"

Blackbird shakes his head, brow knitting as he tries and fails to keep his teeth from chattering. "I…I guess we did," he comments uncertainly. "Well, let's not sit around and run into something…unsavory. C'mon, Little Bit." He pulls up to his feet fully this time, stumbling a little from stiff, chilly limbs, and then lifts her up to drop her on his back. "Now… which way to go?"
Sadaka blinks and looks around, frowning. She'd been pretty deep in the forest before — a couple of times! But… usually with some sort of guide. Nothing stood out as a remembered landmard or anything. "Uh… that way?" she ventures after a moment, gesturing a hoof in a general that-way direction that she hoped might maybe possibly be South. South was the way to town, right? Possibly.

"Th-that way it is!" Blackbird manages cheerfully, and he starts shuffling that way. "I don't remember it-t-t b-b-being this c-c-cold. We m-must be r-r-really d-d-deep in. B-but don't w…worry, we'll be a-alright." He nods firmly, and trots thataway!

Sadaka holds onto him lightly, trying not to shiver. "I d-don't either… n-not even in the m-middle of winter last year… an' it got p-pretty cold then." She frowns, looking around. "Wh-what… h-how did we… I m-mean… did somepony p-put us here?"

"M-m-maybe… Maybe it has t-t-to do with the P…P…/Portside/ th-thing that happened?" Blackbird stumbles around a few branches and squints at some blue spikey plants he's never seen before. But, apparently, they aren't nearly as deep in as they thought, because the trees are already starting to thin and… well maybe it's a clearing? Because there's no sun out, and through the few gaps, they can't see…/the Harbor/, y'know? He squints, picking up the pace as breath streams from his mouth in a fog.

Sadaka perks up a bit at the sight of the clearing. Well that wasn't too bad! …Except wait. It's dark. Is it nighttime? "What time is it?" Even if it /is/ nighttime, though, there's no houses that she can see. Aren't there usually houses? It's not /that/ dark.

"I thought…m-maybe we were in there ffffor a while. W-would explain h-h-how… cold…" Blackbird trails off as he reaches the edge and stares into a broad, white abyss. His jaw drops, eyes widening a little. No harbor. No houses. No /ocean/. Just snow, snow, and more snow, and the dark, icy night graced with the looping lace of the aurora in the sky.

"D…did…" he rasps softly. "Did the world end?"
Sadaka stares out at the scene from over his ears, giving a dazed squeak. "Where… wh-where is… /everything/? Did we c-come out on the w-wrong side of the f-forest?"

"Th…the other side of the forest is mountains!" grates Blackbird as his throat starts to close in a panic. His head whips to the East, where the jagged maw of the White Saddles chews at the horizon. "And— and the mountains are there!" He starts to run, breaking into an awkward stumbling gallop through the snow as his teeth start to chatter. "What— what in the hoof happened here?!"

Sadaka gives a faint yelp, trying to hold on despite the bumpy gait. "We… w-we c-can't have been g-gone /that/ l-long… c-can we? If… if the w-world ended w-we'd know, right?"

Blackbird keeps running and stumbling through the snow of what would surely be the Outskirts of Town if they were back home. "O-of course it would! It wouldn't b-be like opening the d-d-door t-to the ice c-c-cream shop and s-s-suddenly… suddenly /this/. U-unless m-memory m-modification…" He trails off, slowing to a halt in the middle of the frozen plain, trying hard not to let panic get the best of him.

Sadaka looks down at him, eyes wide in fright and confusion. "C-can… can th-that happen? …P-papa, are… are w-we /dead/?" she squeaks out after a moment, the thought suddenly occurring. She cranes her neck to look upwards, trying to spot any familiar stars. If there are stars they can't be dead, right? 'Cause it'd mean they're not /in/ the stars. …That's how that works, isn't it?

Suddenly a muffled voice pops up from right behind the poor wayward ponies! "Gee, you guys look completely lost! Do you need help? You know you aren't going to last very long out here without a snowsuit!"

It's like she'd appeared out of nowhere. A slender pony wrapped in a pure white snowsuit, from ears to tail, complete with a mask over the majority of her face, muffling her voice, though it can still be made out as feminine. A pair of snowgoggles covers her eyes.

"You two aren't from around here, are you?"

The stars… the stars are all different and there are so very, very few. Blackbird looks up too, eyes widening as he wheels backwards. His attempts at quelling his panic fall flat as his breath starts to pant a bit faster, and he wheels around in a circle, looking here — there — and it's nothing. Just snow and ice and winter, nopony around.

"I— " he starts, ears flat. He wants to tell her no, of course not. "I don't…" But all evidence is pointing to the contrary. "M…maybe…" he croaks.

And then he hollers! "G-gah!!" he rears, flinging poor Sadaka from his back, falling back himself. "Who— what— a-are you… Y-y-you're not the Bone Mistress!" he stammers. "A-are you h-h-here to g-g-guide us to our r-resting p-place?"

Yipe! Unseated, the little zebra topples into the snow with a squeak. At least it's a soft landing, if a very chilly one! She peeks up at the white-suited pony, gulping thickly. Is it a ghost? Are /they/ ghosts? "I d-don't know, a-are we? It's… it's not /right/…"

"Resting place?" the pony's muffled voice wonders, then snorts a giggle and shakes her head. "No silly! But I /am/ here to guide you to a place you can rest! That's close enough, right?" Thus the white-clad pony prances past the puzzled pair, gesturing a hoof out into the wasteland. "It's this way~ If we hurry, we'll get there before you two turn into pony-flavored popsicles!"

Blackbird shakes his head quickly, and grabs Sadaka up before she can get too much colder, tucking her back on his back. "S-sorry, Stripey," he offers, frowning. "A p-place that's w-w-warm?" he asks of the stranger hopefully.

Sadaka blinks, shaking herself off and brushing some snowflakes from her mane. "I d-don't see anyplace around h-here, miss…"

"Warm enough!" The pony agrees cheerfully, already on the move. "Oh you wouldn't be able to /see/ it out here. It's a hidden place. We have to hide it so you-know-who won't find it! Oh and I helped a couple others earlier today that didn't have snowsuits either. They'd stumbled into some drift widows and were about to become a spider snack! They looked just as confused and lost as you two, but they also had a big pony with them, so I'm sure they made it too."

"Who?" Blackbird asks, mystified. "S-Salty?" He scrambles after the pony, still unsteady with the insidious, creeping chill. "D-d-drift widows?" For a teacher thrust into the middle of everything, it's very disconcerting to not have a SINGLE DANG CLUE what's going on. "Warmth would b-be appreciated. R-r-rather n-n-not ffffreeze t-t-to death."

"Other ponies? Who? Wh-where from? Wh-what's a drift w-widow? Are th-those those s-snow s-spiders that ate the w-wolves that one time? Wh-who're you hiding from?" Sadaka doesn't pause between questions to allow much time to answer, just rattling them off as they came to mind. So confused in general, she wasn't really expecting any answer that made sense.

The curiously mysterious white pony glances over her shoulder. One can almost imagine a concerned look behind those goggles. "Oh my… We really better hurry up then, you're so cold it looks like your brain's already frozen!" She turns her head back to focus on directions, passing by an interesting snowpony someone made. "This way!" she chimes, altering course ever so slightly.

Naturally she can't help but keep up with the questionably pleasant chatter along the way. "Drift widows are these awful, awful creepy spiders. They hide in snowbanks, and eat /everything/ they catch. They're huge! So don't wander into a snowbank in the forest! There's a lot of bad things in the forest. Then again there's a lot of bad things out here, too. You better make sure you don't forget your snowsuits next time you get lost."

In the distance, a shape rises from the snow. The rickety remains of some building. Or shed, more like. This is where the white-decked pony is heading when she suddenly stops and points a hoof. "We're within sight of the site. Just head straight to that wrecked thing and knock on the strangest part of the ground there. It's a door. I promise. Also, if they ask you for a password, tell them 'Tutti Frutti' and they should let you in!" Her head turns back the way they came. "I'd follow you in, but I'm not due back yet, and there might be more weird ponies without snowsuits that need help! You should be fine from here." Thus does she begin to skip off, as quick and mysteriously as she'd arrived, calling back as she practically disappears against the whiteness of the horizon.

"Remember! Tutti Frutti!"

Blackbird's eyes glaze over a bit at all the new information, and he shakes his head, just following one hoof after the other. After the other pony has bounced off, he calls a faint, "G-g-g'bye!" and finally stumbles into the shack. Limbs locking, teeth chattering, he starts stomping on the ground everywhere he can. It's all strange ground to him. But, for whatever reason, most likely because he's feeling weak with cold, nothing in particular happens.

So he scoots as far in as he can and deposits Sadaka down so he can curl up protectively around her. "Tutti frutti," he grates, hopefully.

But for now? No response. They're left alone in the icy wilderness.